The Parliament – 2

The typical Carrion Crow call is a resonant ‘kraa’, stronger than the rather flat-sounding call of the Rook. Crows are usually seen singly or in small groups, while Rooks are more sociable birds.


‘At the moult into second winter-plumage, and at every subsequent autumn-moult when the bird is adult, the bare space on the chin and upper-throat becomes thickly covered with dark blackish-grey down.’

‘Only a few minute degenerate bristles grow here and there on the nostril-region, fore-head, and on the sides of the lower mandibles, and these are scarcely noticeable without a glass.

Source: The Sequence of Plumages of the Rook, with Special Reference to the Moult of the Face. 
By H.F. Witherby 


With loud calls the younger brother articulated nervousness. He was so young, only born the year past, that the base of his beak was not yet the bone- and dirty-white of a mature Rook.  His brother’s response was terse agreement. He crouched and took flight, landing on the merlon on the south side of the tower, turning in place to watch the fields.

The younger finished his acorn. Feathers tousled in the wind. To the northeast, a carrion crow left its perch on a solitary oak and flew north, away from them, flapping against the wind, over fields of rippling fescue, under nimbostratus of deep and mottled grays.

The wind blew the grasses, the cock’s foot and the brome. Farther, past the fences, were fields of barley and turnips. At a distance to the northwest, ancient white cows grazed on fescue.  

Watching the crow make his slow progress, the elder noticed a speck in the distance. He hopped in adjustment, facing the west, so he could study it with his left eye. The younger mimed him from his perch on the seat of the chair, first crouching, then craning, to see past the obstructing lower slat of the back rest. The bird was approaching. The black speck growing against the thick grey clouds.



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